Monday, February 25, 2008

No Raptors for us

At last, a journalist who hasn't fallen for the wannabe top gun F-22 Raptor nonsense. Greg Sheridan had enough sense to ask someone who knows what he's talking about, US Secretary of defense Robert Gates.

HERE'S a hot tip. There is not the slightest chance Australia will buy any F-22 Raptor aircraft, and there is almost no chance that we will ditch the F/A-18 Super Hornets that the previous government was going to buy. US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates was yesterday polite but dismissive of the possibility of the US selling us the Raptors. We won't buy the Raptors because the Americans don't sell them to foreign countries, we haven't asked them to sell us Raptors and nor are we likely to, they're too expensive, they don't do the jobs we need them to do and we are committed to an alternative path of phasing out the F1-11s, using F/A-18 Super Hornets as an interim measure and ultimately moving to a fleet made up predominantly, if not entirely, of F-35 joint strike fighters....

I have been saying as much for months. In years to come Brendan Nelson will be seen as having been an effective Defence Minister.


  1. Just so that you remain informed please refer to this:

    Understand that the Rudd government is merely trying to conduct the selection of new fighter/bomber aircraft the way it should have been in the first place.


  2. G'day,

    Thats the Kopp & Goon site. Carlo Kopp is a mobile phone engineer and Peter Goon is an ex- RAAF officer who ran a failed aviation business that had aircraft life extension proposals rejected by the RAAF.

    Have a read of the website below to see why it has to be the F-35.



  3. Ralph,

    The point that I am making is about the selection process itself. To simply deflect this assertion by implying that Dr Kopp is an amateur shows the contempt that you have for a fair and proper selection process.

    Regards John

  4. G'day,

    I'm unaware that Kopp & Co. are part of any selection process.

    I have no problems with the government reviewing defense orders, considering they are so expensive the new government would be negligent if it didn't. However I'm highly sceptical that there will be any different decision regarding the warplanes, we will still end up with F-35's, not F-22s.

    That decision was made years ago after a proper review and was supported by the major political parties. The F-35 is the right plane for Australia .

    The current reports from the government have more to do with throwing crap at Brendan Nelson then any serious opposition to the
    Lightning II.



  5. There's a lot of reasons why we won't buy Raptors, but I think the fact that the US won't sell them to us isn't one of them. They would sell them to us in a flash if we suggested we wanted to operate a fleet. We'd almost certainly get the b-version though, but that wouldn't matter in terms of capability. But they aren't the solution for us, and the US knows this, so they don't put the government in a difficult situation by saying they're available if you want to pony up the dough.

  6. G'day,

    Current American law stops the Raptor being exported, and theres no real sign thats going to change.
    If they gave to us others like the Japanese and Koreans would ask for it. Its part of the US crown jewels
    and not for export just like Australia's JORN is not for export.

    The F-22B doesn't exist. The Americans would have to spend billions developing an export only version, which wouldn't be ready for the required time period anyway.

    Despite yesterdays crap in parliament we will end up with the F-35.



  7. The F-22B doesn't exist. The Americans would have to spend billions developing an export only version, which wouldn't be ready for the required time period anyway.

    A b-version is just hobbled software and probably a few other minor changes. No small task I agree, but we're not talking billions. It can be done cheaply with minor adjustments to original software and not providing us with the source code, or developing new code for us at greater expense and making a few other changes. But neither path is excessively expensive. I would say the security agreements between the countries would allow us full access to the airframe with only minor changes.

    The issue is the law preventing sale. While some things just aren't forthcoming, I personally don't believe this is in that basket. But regardless I agree we're getting the F-35.